Genesis 7 & 8

Back to Noah’s mission. As we all know, God commands Noah to gather pairs of each animals, males and females together. Specifically God commands, “Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female , to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth.” (7:2-3, NRSV)

My first thought about this passage was that maybe God wants the extra clean animals so that Noah et al. would have kosher food to eat for forty days and forty nights. Then I realized that the food laws haven’t been developed yet, but thought maybe God was just preparing them. We will soon see that I am still wrong.

The bible is very descriptive of when the rains started: “In the sic hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month…” (7:11, NRSV) Is there something important about this reference that I don’t know about or is it just another oddity of the bible?

I didn’t bring this up in the last installment, but they mention cubits again in Chapter 7, so I figured, “Why not?” In 7:20 the bible says that the mountains were covered fifteen cubits deep. According to Wikipedia, the most trustworthy source of information on the interwebs (am I joking? I don’t know.), a cubit was about 44 cm, so the mountains were covered by 6.6 meters of water. The ark was 132 meters long, 22 meters wide, and 13.2 meters tall. The maximum volume of the ark was a little more than 38 000 meters cubed. Enough to hold two of every animal (fourteen of some)? Probably not, but I am not up to the calculations right now, maybe another time.

In Chapter 8 the flood subsides. “And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided…” (8:1, NRSV) Did God blow the water into space? Or did the wind aid evaporation? Just kidding; it’s a metaphor!

Again in 8:3-5 and 8:13-14 we have very specific dates mentioned. Why?

When the flood subsides, Noah builds an offer and makes a burnt offering of the clean animals (that’s what they were for!). God smells the offering and says, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth…” (8:21, NRSV) This sounds like God is in support of the idea of original sin. We start off evil, and must become clean; not the other way around.

No comments:

Post a Comment